Fake phone calls circulating claiming you’re a winner in Vaccine Incentive Program

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – There is a new warning from the California Department of Health after scammers have already been found taking advantage of the recent vaccine incentive program.

It’s been less than a week since the Vax for the Win Incentive Program kicked off, and with it being so new, it’s left room for scammers to pounce on the opportunity of making their own fast cash.

“Scammers are quick on this opportunity,” Blair Looney, Better Business Bureau President, said.

The Better Business Bureau and California Department of Health are sending a warning that scammers are already taking advantage of the program.

They are contacting people to tell them they need to enroll for their chance to win but all vaccinated individuals are automatically entered.

“What they’re offering to do is to help them with that eligibility for a small fee,” Looney said.

That also means this type of scam has a large target.

“They know they have a large pool of people out there,” Looney said.

Another route the scammer is taking is calling, texting, or emailing you pretending you are a winner.

“In some cases they’re telling people you are a winner and we need to process your winning entry, we need you to provide us with information, everything from name, address, sometimes social security number,” Looney said.

The California Department of Health is now wanting to clarify a few things.

You will not be asked to pay any fees for the cash prize.

Winners will not be asked for their bank information.

CDPH will email or call through an official email or phone number or will notify winners in person.

Blair Looney says the coronavirus has been the greatest tool for scammers and this is just their latest tactic.

“Scammers work very hard to come up with creative ways to take advantage of what is making news and in the headlines,” Looney said.

Blair Looney says it’s very important to report any calls or emails that look like they could be part of this scheme.

If you need to report this scam, email rumors@cdph.Ca.Gov or call 1-833-993-3873.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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